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Howard Waddell
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Introducing... The Viking Sparring Swords (Skirmish Line)         Reply with quote

Here are the first three offerings in a new line designed by Peter Johnsson, to specifically address the needs of period combat reenactors and stage combat practitioners.

Similar to the Maestro line, these blades are designed for heavy, safe sparring, but have hilt treatments (including a leather wrapped grip) preserving a more historical appearance.







More info and photos here:

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/sw...irmish.htm

Best,

Howy

Albion Swords Ltd
http://albion-swords.com
http://filmswords.com
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, cool. These will be popular, they look great and the quality shouldn't be questioned since they are Albions. Happy
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Ville Vinje




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They look wonderful!

Weight seems great. I am a little bit worried about the length of the grip since most of the viking "reenactment" fighters use pretty big gloves.



It will be great to get a review of how the swords handle in action.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is very interesting. So, the difference between the Skirmish Line and the Maestro Line is that the first will look more like the real thing, at least from the audience's viewpoint? Are they built to take more punishment than the Maestros, though Maestros aren't exactly breakable?

I eagerly await the Skirmish Line longswords.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like the Skirmish line is built for Reenactors, while the maestro line is made for WMA.
(Some notable Sweedish viking figthers reffer to the group figthing "sport" as skirmish figthing, as a side note)

They look very good, and appear to be good figthing swords as well. The balance is further forward than many viking reenactors are used to, but personally at least I find light swords with an agressive balance very good for sparring.

My one consern is that one might have picked more common types to recreate?
You have a saxon sword, a frankish sword, and a Rus type, but none of the common scandinavian types, like the Type H, or late native styles...
Are there planned more swords in this series?

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Mr. Polden, It would be nice to have a more common scandinavian type, a type H would be nice.
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Andrew Davis




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Absolutely bloody brilliant designs!

Peter Johnsson is such an amazing craftsman and artisan.
Those have to be my all time favorite designs I have ever seen Albion produce!

It would be an honor to meet Peter one day, I would love to pick his brain and learn finer elements of the craft.


Thanks for sharing!

www.MADdwarfWorkshop.com
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Michael Eging




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very cool, Howy. Now for a leather wrap on the Maestro line and that would just do it for me!!

Love watching your work!!

M. Eging
Hamilton, VA
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Tue 07 Apr, 2009 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Eging wrote:
Very cool, Howy. Now for a leather wrap on the Maestro line and that would just do it for me!!

Love watching your work!!


A little OT but I have put a Leatherwrap on my Meyer. Took me about an hour and it looks great. I just unwind the tread on the handle and exchanged it with leather.

Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 1:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Guys!

Really happy to see your positive response.
These swords will fill a gap in the line, that neither the Squires, nor the Maestros could fill.
The Maestro Line swords are contemporary training tools for martial arts, and their construction and finish reflect that fact. The Squire Line are entry level blades that straddle the line between safe unsharpened swords to be brought along on public events, and swords that *can* be sharpened for those who wish so.

Up till now we have not had a really good alternative for theatrical fighters or those into melée reenactment. This line will fulfill that need. It goes without saying there are numerous interesting sword types to be added to this line over time. Just a quick scan over the field of popular reenactment will prompt several highly important time periods. Even the Vikings will fill out with more models given time. A type H is a given addition, but seeing the international spirit of the vikings it is not out of place with "foreign" swords in the hands of scandinavian warriors.
I would be happy to hear suggestions on other Skirmish swords you would order if they were available in the line up.

My vision with these designs is that even if somewhat rougher in finish than the Next Generation line, there is no reason to skimp on historical authenticity in the shaping of the hilts. On the contrary, it is crucially important, especially for those into historical reenactment. The blades will be as close as possible to their sharp counterparts, but naturally have to be tweaked for safety. When it comes to balance and ergonomics, I feel it is important to keep as much as possible of the feel of authentic historical swords, but place the designs on the lighter, more agile side of the spectrum. This is to inspire a feel of reality when you grasp the sword: it should feel like the real thing but not expose your partners to un necessary risk.

Going to various historical events, talking to reenactors and seeing their equipment, I get a strong impression there is a lack of good swords for bouting. Many lavish detail on their kits, but have to compromise when it comes to the sword. It is a common situation that rather clumsy blades are equipped with hilts that have to compensate for this fact, the end result being an overly heavy "sword" that still is not as safe as could be and that also puts undue stress on the user. Alternatively bouting swords are balanced so that there is no presence of the blade at all, resulting in an object that share nothing with the feel of an actual sword.
That is a shame since many get much joy from being as lose to the real thing as possible.

The Skirmish Line will feature swords that are instantly recognizable for what they are: they will all express a strong identity belonging to specific time periods, cultures and geographical areas. Even if safety and agility are stressed, they will still feel like swords when wielded.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
This is very interesting. So, the difference between the Skirmish Line and the Maestro Line is that the first will look more like the real thing, at least from the audience's viewpoint? Are they built to take more punishment than the Maestros, though Maestros aren't exactly breakable?

I eagerly await the Skirmish Line longswords.


Hey Roger,

These swords have the same rugged toughness as the Maestro Line swords. They have proved to be dependable and sturdy. I do not think these swords need much more in that department.

-A long sword (or two or three) is absolutely on the list!
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ville Vinje wrote:
They look wonderful!

Weight seems great. I am a little bit worried about the length of the grip since most of the viking "reenactment" fighters use pretty big gloves.



It will be great to get a review of how the swords handle in action.


I am not sure the grip length is a real problem. I see the big gloves as a result from inadequate sparring swords. With a proper sword, you can wear proper gloves. A close hilt will also provide better protection than those hand and half viking hilts you sometime see among reenactors.
Having access to a properly balanced and weighted sword will change the way you fight. It will open new possibilities and so also impact the safety equipment you use.

...And why wait for a review? I know the sword(s) you now use. I think I can promise, that regardless which one of these you should pick, it would not disappoint you Wink Big Grin
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Martin Wallgren




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 2:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also proper fighting techniques will help (though I am aware that not all reenactors train as much as they should) The vikingsword is designed to be used from behind the shield and the edge of the shield should do most of the guarding of the swordhand. Again OT! I slap myself on the wrist.
Swordsman, Archer and Dad
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Antonio Lamadrid





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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 2:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
It goes without saying there are numerous interesting sword types to be added to this line over time. Just a quick scan over the field of popular reenactment will prompt several highly important time periods. Even the Vikings will fill out with more models given time. A type H is a given addition, but seeing the international spirit of the vikings it is not out of place with "foreign" swords in the hands of scandinavian warriors.
I would be happy to hear suggestions on other Skirmish swords you would order if they were available in the line up.


I would like a 6th c. sword, a ring-hilt if possible, and an 11th c. brazil-nut.

By the way, there is a gap in the Next Generation line-up between the still not available spathas and the Viking swords. I know Migration Age blades are not the most popular in the market, but even so...


The Wallingford looks great. Nice sword!
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Ville Vinje




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 4:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
Ville Vinje wrote:
They look wonderful!

Weight seems great. I am a little bit worried about the length of the grip since most of the viking "reenactment" fighters use pretty big gloves.



It will be great to get a review of how the swords handle in action.


I am not sure the grip length is a real problem. I see the big gloves as a result from inadequate sparring swords. With a proper sword, you can wear proper gloves. A close hilt will also provide better protection than those hand and half viking hilts you sometime see among reenactors.
Having access to a properly balanced and weighted sword will change the way you fight. It will open new possibilities and so also impact the safety equipment you use.

...And why wait for a review? I know the sword(s) you now use. I think I can promise, that regardless which one of these you should pick, it would not disappoint you Wink Big Grin


I'm sure you are right. Mr Binns is most likely up for some competition, which in my opinion is a good thing since most show fighters/reenactor fighters use his swords. My lightest Binns weigh about 1.1 kg and has a balance point closer to the hilt. The edges are a bit soft so I will have to grind them down after heavy usage.
The skirmish line swords seems to have somewhat wider fullers which should work great for the weight of the blade. How does the edges work in heavy edge to edge combat?

Now it's only a question of convincing my wife that the family need fourth sword (which might prove to be a bit problematic).

Regards,

/Ville
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You adjust the gloves to the sword. Many people start out basing their gloves on very rough welding-type gloves and adding padding, leather or metal to those. This just isn't a very good strategy. You need to start out with thin gloves, or the historical mitten design with thin leather for the inside of the hand, and add padding or leather to the outside of the glove. Otherwise you will not get a propper grip on your sword.

Bins swords are generally sturdy, but show a lot of variation. The good ones are very good, but there are plenty of no-so-good ones, making it dificult to buy one that you have not actually looked at.
As such the Skirmish swords look very good.
They have nice specs, though some viking reenactors are used to a differnet balance. The European Reenactment sword developed from 2 kg+ iron bars. Back in the day, we had a couple of Bins 90's issue Longswords(!) in our group. They weighed about 2,5 kg, and had 4mm edges. Because that was the way people wanted them...
With such heavy swords, balance well to the rear is a must, and even after lighter swords became the norm, the further-to-the back-is-better attitude has remained...
With a lighter sword, however, a forward balance is actually preferable. A sword wich has its balance to the rear requires precise controll at all times, whereas a sword wich has the balance forward wil move on its own. This means that when you are making a light reenactment blow, it is easier to controll the blows. (since you just have to start the blow, and stopp it at the right moment, rather than guiding it all the way)

From a competitive point of view, the main drawback would seem to be the price. Reenactors are used to paying 150-250 $ for a sword, so the jump up to 550$ is quite hefty. But it seems to worth it, if you have the money.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Hugo Voisine




PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh god, I think I just had an orgasm.

I want one of each.

EDIT : I just sent an email inquiry to Albion about the Vittfarne.

« Que dites-vous ?... C'est inutile ?... Je le sais !
Mais on ne se bat pas dans l'espoir du succès !
Oh ! non, c'est bien plus beau lorsque c'est inutile ! »
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
I would be happy to hear suggestions on other Skirmish swords you would order if they were available in the line up.



Type XVIa's would fit well into the Skirmish line. XVIa.5 from Records would be a good model IMO for a design base.

A solid, broad, shortish XVIIIa like XVIIIa.4 would also work well.

For longswords, I suggest that the grip be at least 7 inches long, unless it has a pommel that works well with the hand, either as a grip extension or as a help in edge alignment.
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Anders Nilsson




PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Really nice swords!

A migration era sword would also be awsome.

Anders "Nelle" Nilsson, Instructor Angermanna Mnhfs
To train martial arts without fighting is like slalom without snow.
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Allen Foster




PostPosted: Wed 08 Apr, 2009 12:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Howard and Peter,

Thank you. Thank you.. Thank You... Thank You.... and Thank You.

Did I mention I wanted to say thanks?

Thanks,
Allen

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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